Wanted: A family of four – mum, dad and two teenagers – would like to visit Jordan to see sights such as the Lost City of Petra and the Dead Sea. They would also like tips about other highlights and activities in the country that would suit a family with teenagers. They would have to travel during school holidays in 2020 – either the Easter holidays or the summer holidays, so they would like to know which would be better in terms of prices and temperatures.
The Flight Centre agent stood out with her enthusiastic and informative service, along with ideal options for Easter and summer holidays. The friendly and helpful Tui agent provided interesting itineraries, albeit with one well over budget. The Kuoni shop and agent offered a good experience and service – but the shopper felt disappointed by the lack of any firm quotes.
Helen Woods, Senior travel consultant
“We get quite a few queries for Jordan, especially for Christmas and Easter because of the holy and Biblical sites. I’ve not been but one of my colleagues has visited and told me about it, and we get tour operators such as G Adventures and Intrepid Travel who come to train us about their tours.”
19 High Street
Impression: The shop was tidy, with neat, informative and colour posters. Staff were smartly dressed in their branded uniforms and scarves.
Service: The store was quiet and I was greeted immediately by a friendly consultant with a bright, cheerful smile. She asked me several questions about our requirements and had very good knowledge of the destination, tours and facilities. As well as the quotes and information about the holiday, she mentioned travel Insurance and booking an extra night at Heathrow. She gave me her full attention and also talked about some of her own travel experiences. I was asked to return as soon as possible to book the tour.
Quotes: Both quotes were for eight-day Jordan Family Holiday options with Intrepid Travel, flying from Heathrow with Royal Jordanian. The tour would start in the capital Amman, then visit the Roman city of Jerash, Madaba, Dana Village, Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba and the Dead Sea. The cost would be £6,535 and the price was the same for departures in April and August.
Overall: She developed an excellent rapport with me and was very enthusiastic about the holiday. I would have booked the tour if it had been a genuine enquiry as it was a pleasure to deal with her and I got plenty of information.
1 Widmore Road
Impression: The shop was clean and uncluttered, with agents wearing branded uniforms. The displays were neatly presented with colourful brochures.
Service: There were other people in the agency but I was immediately greeted with a warm smile and my query was dealt with straightaway. The agent took my details and asked about our family and requirements in order to come up with two holiday options. They rang tour operators to check details but gave me their full attention while waiting on the phone. The agent suggested we make a decision as soon as possible and gave me a business card.
Quotes: The first was for a six-day Hayes and Jarvis escorted tour called the Biblical Journey Through Jordan, departing in July from Heathrow with Royal Jordanian. It would start in Amman, and visit Jerash, Anjara, Tall Mar Elias, Pella, Um Qais, Madaba, Mount Nebo, Umm Ar Rassas, Petra, the Dead Sea, Mukawir and Bethany. The total cost would be £6,400. The second one was a six-day Hayes and Jarvis holiday called Jordan Highlights Tour, which visited the lost city of Petra, ancient Roman city of Jerash, the Dead Sea and the Red Sea resort of Aqaba. However, it was well above budget at £7,680.
Overall: The itineraries did sound very interesting and the service was friendly and efficient.
Unit 247 The Glades
Impression: The store was spotlessly clean and well presented, with very smartly dressed agents. The windows were clear so you could see into the store.
Service: I was greeted immediately with a bright cheerful smile and, as the store was quiet, I was dealt with immediately. The agent was friendly and enthusiastic and gave me a business card. They asked questions about the family members and what we wanted to see. They rang their head office to ask for more information and it turned out they could not make any bookings for travellers under 16. The agent was also distracted by a computer problem.
Quotes: The agent said in a follow-up email that they could offer a Kuoni escorted tour called Highlights of Jordan, but children under the age of 16 are not allowed on the tour. A partner company, Jules Verne, also offers a tour called Highlights of Jordan, based on easyJet flights to Aqaba and visiting Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. However, prices are only available up to March 2020 and we would have to be in contact with the agency in November to get prices for Easter or summer 2020.
Overall: The agent was apologetic that they were unable to provide a quotation as the family group had teenagers under 16, so it was a disappointing outcome.
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